It’s a Small World…

Since the election of He Who Shall Not Be Named (HWSNBN) the word “narcissism” has probably been “googled” millions of times. As for me, I had already a deep understanding of narcissism long before HWSNBN appeared in the political limelight.

The Evil X (of song and legend) was a narcissist. Watching HWSNBN debating Hilarity, and seeing him speak, sent shivers of “America, for the love of god, don’t vote for this guy!” down my spine. I saw everything the Evil X had done to distort my perception of reality and turn me into his slave.

But the Evil X was not my only experience being the slave of a narcissist. My mom…

She’s been dead since 1996, and almost every day since that equivocal event I’ve had one more realization about her, us, even her childhood. One of my mom’s favorite refrains was, “You’re so selfish. You need to learn to think about other people.” This, over and over and over and over…  Now I know I was hearing echoes of my grandma admonishing my mother. I’m not selfish. I’ve never been selfish. Besides, what does that mean to a five year old who’s barely discovered the external world?

Like all narcissists, my mom tapped into the mentalities of others very quickly, and she saw right away that I am a peace-loving, very sensitive, creative person who wants to get along with and please others. And, my flaws. Narcissists are very good at identifying those, too, and amplifying their size and importance in order to cast blame. Narcissists are also very good at convincing others that they’re the shit.

My mom’s world was very small as a result of this. Everything that happened happened to HER. That her sisters’ husbands hadn’t died in their 40s, and they were still couples doing things together, was not my aunts’ good luck, but my mom’s bad luck. Rather than be happy for them — and join in as she was always invited to do — she resented them. She didn’t look at them objectively and see their struggles. Over time, her lonely hole got deeper, smaller, darker, and then she was buried in it.

The narcissist has a very hard time being sure of his/her basic existence because they don’t have an appropriate relationship with the external world. Deep down they have a vast pool of insecurity. My mom knew there was something missing in her connection to the world and needed constant reassurance from others that she was there. Narcissists cannot find their own happiness; it must come from others, and, in my mom’s case, when this wasn’t coming, she became a sadistic bully.

I’m amused watching some of the players on the international stage dealing with the Narcissist in Power. Macron kisses up, holds hands, does all zees French sings that feed the bottomless ego of HWSNBN then, in a speech to Congress, contravenes the policies of HWSNBN. Macron KNOWS that the policies exist not from a deep core of beliefs but the need of HWSNBN to please his power base and stay on top. Merkel just gets it over with and goes back to her life. Asian cultures revolve around “saving face” so pandering to the ego of a narcissist is natural for them.


Hip surgery update: Healing continues. It’s pretty boring around here without the dogs, but I still don’t feel safe about having them around and all that means (Bear on my lap, protective pads on the floor, walks). The staples come out day after tomorrow. I have to figure out a way to take a shower — just the the quotidian annoyances of the process that require patience and faith. I’m so glad I live in this FLAT, pretty, friendly, redolent with lilacs and iris little city where, if I go outside to walk, someone will wish me well. It is immensely cheering. ❤

12 thoughts on “It’s a Small World…

  1. After reading that, there is only one answer. Martha for President (by the way are you in the right party).
    As far as showering goes, I am still doing it the one-legged way since four months. My first big step was to stand in the shower (our bath and shower are combined) and get to wash and rinse places properly. That happened about a month ago, but I still have to lift my left leg to get it over the bath edge when I climb out of the bath. All things will pass, I hope.

    • I have to figure out the shower thing this week. I have thought of checking into a local hotel with walk in showers 😀 One of my precautions forbids me from kicking the operated leg backward which is the way I have always had to get into my shower and I am forbidden from bending over so there are a lot of technical problems. If I could drive, I might do the hotel thing…

  2. I suspect that all entertainers and politicians need at least some level of narcissism … but then there was your ex, my father, Garry’s mother … oh I could go on … and then there’s the current occupant of the oval office.

    As for the shower: Can you sit on the edge of the tub and swing yourself in a circular way so you are sitting on the edge? Do you have a stool or chair in the shower? Otherwise, I can do a pretty decent job with a washcloth, lots of soap, and a sink. I have been wrapped in plaster a lot and often, it has been the only option.

    • Swinging my leg around and over violates two of the restrictions that are there to prevent dislocation. I bought a shower transfer bench, but my tub is just over 3 feet long and the bench wouldn’t fit. 😦 I’m doing OK with a washcloth, too. I may turn the bathroom into a shower, though. Just get the handheld shower head out and put it in the sink. Or wash in the backyard with the hose! 😀

  3. You are a strong woman, Martha, to have come out on the other side – stronger and more independent than most. A friend of mine has been living in the “narcissist” HELL for the past few years, but she is slowly beating the hold he had over her. This friend of mine actually had to sneak her kids out of another country to escape “his” hold. A lot of mental recovery has been taking place, and I see her strength coming back, but the damage is astounding.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that each story that is told can help empower other in a similar situation.

    I hope you can figure out the shower situation soon. In the meantime – enjoy those lilacs and irises. 🙂

    • They destroy your sense of self and that makes it very hard to see what’s going on and to break away. The damage is awful and the self-hatred over getting in that spot is bad, too. I wish your friend the best .

  4. Martha, did something happen to your mum early in her life that could have made her feel so insecure that she felt she needed to control everything? Trauma can be insidious, and the effects inter-generational. I will have something to write on this in future, but I can’t do this at the moment as it would hurt somebody I love very much.

    The shower issue seems quite difficult. Our’s is over our bath too. I’ve often felt we should change to a walk-in one before we get much older. Can you go to the gym and shower there?

    • I hadn’t thought of the gym, but I might be able to do that. It’s where I was having PT before my surgery. Good idea.

      I don’t know if anything traumatic happened to my mom. It’s definitely possible. I don’t have much sympathy for her any longer — I poured all of it into her during her lifetime and it didn’t help anyone or anything. In fact, it crippled me emotionally. I am drawn to narcissistic people and still have a really hard time accepting normal love. It’s been a lifetime quest outgrowing her. 😦

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